By Aaron Recuenco
Police and military operatives are now conducting follow-up operations to rescue two policewomen who were abducted along with two civilians in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the victims had just come from a military camp in Sulu when they were abducted while on their way back to their place at around 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The victims were identified as Benierose Alvarez, Dinah Gumahad, Jakosalem Ahamad Blas and Faizal Ahidji.
Albayalde confirmed that Alvarez and Gumahad are policewomen assigned at the Police Regional Office in Zamboanga City with the ranks of Police Officer 2 and Police Officer 1, respectively.
“One of them, the PO2, is assigned to the Crime Laboratory while the other policewoman is her friend. They were on their way back to their place from a military camp when they were abducted,” said Albayalde.
The kidnapping, he said, occurred, in Barangay Liang in Patikul town.
Based on a military report, the victims were allegedly taken by armed men on board a tricycle with a ‘Igasan Family” marking. The armed men are reportedly led by a certain Mujir Yada.
The information provided by witnesses is now being used to conduct pursuit operations.
Police and military operatives were immediately dispatched to the possible escape routes of the suspects and their victims.
“As of now, there is no communication yet,” said Albayalde.
Security officials also urged the local residents to avoid going to isolated areas as the pursuit operations are on-going. They also urged the public to provide them with information regarding the abduction.
It is not yet clear if the abductors are either members or have links with the Abu Sayyaf group which operates in the province although past abductions were proven to have been carried out by the group.